Broadband News

Surrey to use gainshare windfall to push superfast broadband further

The targets of the various BDUK projects have always been mis-quoted and even today years into the programmes mistakes still happen.

"The investment announced today is insufficient to enable all 15,300 properties without access to superfast broadband to receive a service.

This contradicts the original plans by the county council which was to provide almost 100 per cent coverage of superfast broadband across Surrey.

In this digital age, Superfast Broadband is a necessity to access Government information and services.

It is a basic utility which must be provided to all Surrey premises.

Councillor Hazel Watson, leader of the Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council

The Councillor was talking to thisislondon and unfortunately has confused the original 'within a whisker of 100% fibre availability' with superfast coverage levels. Targets generally using the terms NGA or fibre availability do not include any speed qualifiers, i.e. someone who got 1.1 Mbps from ADSL and now gets 2.4 Mbps from VDSL2 would qualify. Superfast coverage has two baseline speed figures of above 24 Mbps if working to Westminster, or the EU (and much preferred version) of 30 Mbps or faster.

For those in Surrey it is worth a read of the decision the council has taken to take the gainshare money from BT and re-use this £3.8m to reach as many as possible of the 15,300 premises that still below a speed threshold of 15 Mbps.

The report is clear in that the contractual targets of the original contract have been met and the gainshare (clawback) money could have sat dormant until the end of the contract and be released back to the Council and Westminster or based on the content of mail bags used to try and take things beyond the existing contract. Approval has been given for the additional roll-out to be done via the existing BT contract, this reduces costs for the council i.e. no procurement exercise to run and increases the speed with which things might actually happen. A key thing for any Surrey Council Tax payers is that this extra roll-out does not need any money from the council and any cost overruns to hit the new target once fully defined will be the responsibility of BT - thus avoiding that age old procurement trick of promising the earth for a lower cost than anyone else and then using change control to increase it to the same cost as others years down the road.

7591-surrey-broadband-statistics-thumb.p Click image for larger version

There are questions over whether 98.8% NGA coverage is within a whisker of 100% and with value for money still being a key driver for councils whether spending more local money to guarantee 100% superfast coverage is that important compared to other spending.

A mix of techniques will be used, from extra infill VDSL2 cabinets and native GEA-FTTP, but Fibre to the Remote Node is also mentioned, the later is rarer than FTTP but basically means rather than a full-size green VDSL2 cabinet a small box that can go in the ground or on a pole is used to serve 8 to 16 premises with VDSL2 (or maybe even G.fast possibly).

7591-surrey-uso-postcodes-thumb.png Click image for larger version
Browse map of Surrey and the rest of the UK

The map above of the postcodes believed to be under 10 Mbps across Surrey above gives some idea of where these 15,300 premises are located, the question will be how far can the £3.8 million stretch and that will depend on the technology and evaluations of cost to each cluster. If a pure FTTP expansion was undertaken we might see 4000 or so premises benefit and if the council could be certain of more clawback in the future this would be ideal.

The author is one of those in Surrey where 1 maybe two properties in the postcode can get above 25 Mbps, but is in the 15 to 20 Mbps range with the other neighbours tailing off down the speed ladder, so where the roll-out goes is certainly of interest. The timetable is that the extended roll-out could start in April and finish in December 2018.

Comments

Andrew

You have some postcodes on the map that are Under 2Mb and FTTP. Try toggling the map at Wickham green and south of Tonbridge School as an example. ( I assume these are in course of building at present so only partially covered a close in an estate?).

  • jumpmum
  • 10 months ago

Having trouble finding Wickham Green near Tonbridge School, schools postcode I believe is TN9 1JP

There is some USO overlap with FTTP at https://labs.thinkbroadband.com/local/broadband-map#13/51.1300/0.1187/uso/geafttp/

And this is a map plotting, rather than coverage issue, and have been fixing this plot bug, along with rest of todo list.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 10 months ago

Its a little bizarre to see some sub-10Mbps locations slap-bang in the middle of both Guildford and Woking.

  • WWWombat
  • 10 months ago

Where's Blackmamba? This is an occasion where his Surrey-centric speculation would be more valid.

WWWombat - not that bizarre. We proportionately have way more FTTP in rural areas than urban so it doesn't surprise in the slightest that there are sub-10Mb urban locations. Rural sub-10Mb would've been resolved via FTTP subsidised by BDUK.

  • CarlThomas
  • 10 months ago

A tight nit development of 24 properties less than a mile from Farnham Station hovers around the 10 Mb mark with FTTC but the killer is the 0.8 MB upload speed. Maybe in three years time things may improve but I doubt it.

  • trolleybus
  • 10 months ago

@CarlThomas
Sorry, "slap-bang in the middle of" was subtle code for "so close to the exchange that those results can't possibly true." Local knowledge isn't exclusive to @blackmamba

In the case of Woking, the circle is also identified as being sub-2Mbps. It is located across the road from the exchange.

  • WWWombat
  • 10 months ago

I was at the SCC/BT public launch meeting and they were definitely talking about Superfast to almost 100%. The term "access to fibre" and redefinition of Superfast to 15Mbps came later. A case of raised expectations before anyone had looked at the detail, although even before the contract was let to BT, SCC and local MPs were informed that in the opinions of some FTTC was not a rural solution. Time has shown that to be the case.

  • cooperfarncombe
  • 10 months ago

The USO + FTTP overlaps is fixed nationally with the all the map tiles updated.

The Woking dot - noted, fixed but not visible till Friday, and same with Guilford. Though one of Guildford ones was real, but I was under estimating by 1 to 2 Mbps, now just outside. Central Guilford has some odd routing.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 10 months ago

Andrew
My Apologies it was Tanbridge (House) School RH12 1SR and Wickhurst Green RH12 3LN. ( I needed my glasses on) it looks like a new build as it isn't on street view yet, but houses were all there in Sep.

  • jumpmum
  • 10 months ago

How does the map look now for those postcodes?

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 10 months ago

Still the same.
5 Clear doubles in one patch below the school and 2 out of 3 in Wickhurst Green. (Edwards close is the third that may not have FTTP)

  • jumpmum
  • 10 months ago

Is this the issue you see? https://labs.thinkbroadband.com/local/broadband-map#15/51.0594/-0.3554/uso/geafttp/

Don't scroll the map should show with the same zoon/pan as I used.

Looks as if a few postcodes are fully overlapping and not unusual for new build, i.e. they can be a real problem until postcodes resolve to their full position

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 10 months ago

Hi Broadband Watchers.
After seeing the £3.8 million clawback for the 11 Surrey Areas that Openreach can use for the 15K customers that are not receiving 15 meg I am very confident that the figure of 99.7% will be achieved.
The 99.7% was quoted at Dorking by a Openreach Manager for 15 meg the .3% was stated in Surrey meeting minutes.

  • Blackmamba
  • 10 months ago

Ok found the issue with the USO+FTTP overlap going away and re-appearing, another daily job had a bug causing it.

Hopefully now fixed forever, just to rerun data and generate new map tiles.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 10 months ago

Hi Wombat.
There are many post codes that have been incorrect at the 10 and 2 layer when I see any I contact Andrew staff direct. I have mainly passed over West Surrey area. I feel it is the responsibility of the local councils and MP, as they are spending the money on their patch.

  • Blackmamba
  • 10 months ago

When the word many is used, if I recall its around 15 to 20 postcodes fixed, so when 1.7 million in the UK its all relative.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 10 months ago

The 99.7% was quoted at Dorking by a Openreach Manager for 15 meg the .3% was stated in Surrey meeting minutes = blackmanba who In openreach said that --- you sure they worked for openreach ?

  • fastman
  • 10 months ago

and what meeting was that and what year ?

  • fastman
  • 10 months ago

My Apologies it was Tanbridge (House) School RH12 1SR and Wickhurst Green RH12 3LN. ( I needed my glasses on) it looks like a new build as it isn't on street view yet, but houses were all there in Sep. - it was development where developer asked for copper line ones !!!! -- so its a new not spot -

  • fastman
  • 10 months ago

The map tiles have all been updated, though as is the way more FTTP has been found around the UK, so will all need updating again soon

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 10 months ago

Fastman.
Read the whole thread, There were postcodes on the map with BOTH sub 10Mb and FTTP marked. These have now been corrected, so now only 1 sub 10Mb code is left ( Edwards close as suspected)

  • jumpmum
  • 10 months ago

Andrew thanks. All the FTTP doubles I have checked now look correct ( did notice one FTTC green/Sub 2Mb in the middle of Dolgellau). Hope the bug doesn't reappear!

  • jumpmum
  • 10 months ago

Hi Fast.
I have confirmation from a person that attended the meeting that the target speed of 15 Meg is correct and ties in with the information in the SCC BT/Openreach contract. All dates and targets were achieved and the £3.8 million will be invested to try and achieve the 99.7% (15 meg target across the 450K Surrey customers) time will tell. I would think BT/openreach would go for the most cost effective fibre/ cable runs.

  • Blackmamba
  • 10 months ago

Dolgellau problem fixed, not a bug, just a postcode linked to wrong cabinet

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 10 months ago

blackmamba -the £3.8 million will be invested to try and achieve the 99.7% (15 meg target across the 450K Surrey customers) - to t

to try to reach based on the 3.8m is a world away from you being confident it would be achieved andI also seriously double that was someone who worked for openreach who confirmed that

  • fastman
  • 10 months ago

Hi Fast.
It is possible that your Openreach person who quoted double the price £ 7.6 million was trying to get more money from SCC due to the low take up over all the Cabs in Surrey. BDUK + the commercial section. I did have a person that quoted £10 million to get to 99%. I think we will have to Watch TBB 15 meg % over the coming months.

  • Blackmamba
  • 10 months ago

black don't make assumptionos bout think you cleardly did not hear - I can tell you the cost increased expedentially as you increase the percentage dial updads !!!! the 10m does not surprise me as you are then also down to each invidual premise so the 4 people who lived down a tract where there are 2km of buried duct you might be looking at 20-30k each per premise or more !!!!

  • fastman
  • 10 months ago

get a few of those and you can get to a few million with outthink blinking an eye

  • fastman
  • 10 months ago

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